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Full text of "Mary Barker"

MARY BARKER, 



THRILLING NARRATIVE 



OF 



EARLY LIFE 



IN 



NORTH CA.ROLINA. 






1 1 CHARACTERS : 

lyiARY BARKER; TONLIN, the Chief's Son; 

VELNA, the Chief's Daughter: GATLIN, the Renegade. I 



BY 

CHARLIE VERNON, 

(SECOND EDITION.) 



RALEIGH, N. C. 

BRANSON & FARRAR, FATETTEVILLE ST., 

1865. 




V,^ 



MARY BARKEE, 



BY 



CHABLIE YERNON./f -^0 



[SECOND EDITION 



P.ALEIGH, N. C. 

BEANSON «fe FAREAR, FATETTEVILLE ST., 

1865. 



COPY RIGHT SECURED ACCORDING TO LAW. 



"DAILY STANDARD" PRINT. 






MARY BARKER. 



CHAPTER I. 

Dusky Dell, the name given to my father's resi- 
dence, is the strangest, most weird and ghost-hke 
place to be found in Randolph county. The loca- 
tion is in a valley enclosed by steep, rugged hills ; 
up the little stream is a dark pine forest, that per- 
petually sends a melancholy moaning along the 
hills like some wailing spirit, seeking rest and find- 
ing none ; down the valley is an extensive view of 
rolling country, covered with a low, scraggy, copse- 
wood, having an occasional pine tree, that in the 
dusk of evening looks like some dark-robed spirit 
meditating evil. The place is not without a cer- 
tain species of beauty, but it is a beauty so spec- 
.tral and unearthly, that it has no gladness in it. 
Then the house adds to the sombre, haunted, dreary 
aspect of the scene. It is a large old-fashioned 
establishment, begun long before the Revolution, 
and apparently not finished yet. Some chimnies 
are stone, some are brick ; one part of the house 
is made of logs, another is framed and ceiled, and 



MARY BARKER. 

ral large upland streams, preductive agriculturally, 
remote from cities and railroads, it is peculiarly 
adapted to grave and mysterious reflection. The 
early history of the county was full of stirring 
events, and many of these still linger in the tradi- 
tions of the people as rare, rich old legends. My 
old uncle, the finest specimen of a past generation, 
was the oracle of the section in which he lived. 
He gave us the following, which in its essential 
facts is known to be true : 

A company of young people had been having a 
rather merry time, and were just' at dusk laughing 
at some local traditions, when the said " old uncle," 
coming up, bade us be quiet and come into the 
house, as something strange was about to happen. 

" Come, come, uncle," we replied, " our college 
life has raised us above these follies." 

"Follies, a fiddle-stick," said the old gentleman, 
somewhat testily, " listen to sound sense, and guide 
your learning by good old experience." 

" But, uncle, you do not believe that chickens 
know any thing about coming events, or that half 
these old tales told and believed in this section are 
true ?" 

" Faith ! but 1 know chickens do just what God 
made them to do, and when they act in an un- 
usual way, it is because something unusual is on 
foot." 

" But, these old tales, do you believe them, do 
you not think they are fictions?" 



MAEY BARKER. 



" Every one is founded in fact. For instance, 
the story of Mary Barker is in all essentials true. 
The Cravens, the Barkers, Gatlins, &c., are well 
known, some of the persons mentioned in the story 
are yet remembered. Then the localities are as 
well known as any places can be." 

"Well, uncle, tell us that history to-night, as 
some of our party never heard it." 

Having assented to our proposition, the old gen- 
tleman gave us the following, only his eloquent 
manner was beyond the power of our prose de- 
scription : 

" When my father first came to this country, he 
settled near Deep river, about twelve miles east of 
Asheboro', in Kandolph county, as it is now called ; 
there were no other settlers within twenty miles, 
except three families, and they were within two 
miles. We had no mills nor meeting houses, nor 
any thing except four good log cabins, a few 
horses, cows, hogs, &c. About the middle of the 
neighborhood we made a large pile of wood, with 
the agreement that whenever the Indians should 
be seen in or about the settlement, that whoever 
saw them should as soon as possible set fire to the 
pile as a warning to all. This little precaution 
having been taken, all went to work to clear fields, 
build stables and arrange whatever might be 
necessary. Tilings had thus progressed for more 
than eighteen months, when my brother in passing 
near the pile met a strange white man, who seemed 
a4 



.*^ 



8 



MARY BARKER. 



very friendly, and asked a great many questions, 
but would give no account of himself as to his name 
or destination. The occurrence was soon known 
over the neighborhood and occasioned considera- 
ble uneasiness, and the same evening it was parti- 
cularly noticed that the chiclcens crowed upon the 
roost throughout the settlement. About an hour 
after dark my sister ran into the house with the 
terrible news that the pile was on fire ; instantly 
all the doors were boiled and propped, and my 
father took his station in front in order to fire the 
alarm gun if an Indian should be seen about the 
house ; having held his gun for some time, and 
becoming weary, he tore off some hooks from the 
wall and nailed them over the door to lay his gun 
upon, and this was the origin of gun-racks over the 
door. Prior to this time houses had latches on the 
outside, but they were now placed within, with a 
string attached, in order that the inmates might be 
apprised if an enemy secretly attempted to gain 
admission. During all that night we kept watch, 
but no Indian was heard ; in the morning search 
was made but no enemy could be found ; a deep 
calamity, however, had fallen upon the neighbor^ 
hood ; Mrs. Mary Barker, the wife of one of the 
settlers was gone ; not a vestige of her departure 
could be obtained. In the early part of the night 
she was with her husband in the house, qjpout mid' 
night her absence was discovered, but no window, 
door, nor other means of escape could be found by 



t*^-^ 



MAEY BARKEE. P 

which she seemed to have gone out. The family 
coDsisted of herself, two sisters, three small children 
and her husband ; Mrs. Barker was a woman of 
more than ordinary strength of body as well as 
courage of mind, and was not only the life ot her 
own home, but of the entire settlement. The in- 
telligence of her absence fell like thunder upon the 
astonished neighbors, a deep gloom rested upon 
every thing, the rain-crows cawed in the tree tops, 
and the chiekena crowed with a peculiar loneliness. 
A short distance from the house one of Mrs. 
Barker's shoes was found, close by it a bloody 
handkerchief, different from any thing known in 
the settlement, and a few yards farther on, a letter 
from a merchant of Philadelphia to Wm. Gatlia 
of Jamestown, Va. Except the above not a trace, 
trail, track, nor sign of any description could be 
found, all hope of recovering the lost lady was 
given up. 

That evening as John Barker and Peter Craven, 
were returning from a search, and within two miles 
of home, just as they were crossing a braach at the 
upper part of a plantation now owned by Jnmes 
Curtis, they distinctly heard a female voice cry out, 
"Oh! my husband and my children." Alarmed 
and excited, they searched in every direction, but 
could neither see nor hear anything. They at 
length sat out for home, hardly knowing what to 
think or how to act, and not a little inclined to 
think the whole land haunted. But before they 
a5 



% 



MAEY BARKEfi. 



fiad proceeded far, and near what is now called 
the "cross road school-house," Craven stopped 
short with the exclamation, "What's that!" Di- 
rectly in the road before them stood a tall Indian 
with Mrs. Barker by his side. " My God !" ex- 
claimed Barker, and instantly fired at the Indian's 
heart, and both ran forward to rescue the lady. 
Horror struck, the blood chilled in their veins, 
they stopt short, neither of them able to speak nor 
move. Neither Indian nor lady was there, nor 
were they any where to be seen ; though dusk, 
yet could they see sufficiently well to know that 
no mortals could have escaped thus. They were 
convinced at once that it was the ghost of Mrs. 
Barker, and that in all probability, she was that 
very evening dying by Indian torture ; for accor- 
ding to a popular belief that prevailed at that day, 
the ghost of a person might always be seen about 
the time of the person's death ; nor has the belief 
subsided yet, many are afraid to travel about at 
night where there is a corpse in the neighborhood ; 
they scarcely know why, but the reason is evident. 
Formerly it was believed that on such occasions 
ghosts were sure to be met, and though that belief 
is no longer indulged, fear, the effect of the belief, 
still reigns. 

Before Barker and Craven had proceeded three 
hundred yards, down in a low and rather dark 
valley, they were alarmed or rather scared worse 
than ever, for there stood the Indian and lady be- 



MAEY BARKER, 11 



~l 



fore them ; they attempted to go round, but whea 
they moved the ghosts moved, and when one 8toj)-| 
ped so did the other. At length Craven reool- 
Ifected, that if one could repeat a verse of scripture 
the ghost would leave ; he accordingly repeated 
one and the Indian and lady vanished away. These 
things convinced all the settlers that Mrs. Barker^ 
was murdered, and every man, woman and child j^ 
learned and had perfectly at command a verse of 
sfcripture, with which they might drive away., 
gliosts, if at any time they should see one. Fou* 
many years after that time, a lady could be heard 
calling to her husband and children, whenever, 
any one crossed that branch about dark, and slu.^ 
Indian and white lady have often been seen stand- 
ing in the road a mile further on, ^ 
Peter Craven was in a superstitious communitj^ 
and lived in a superstitious era ; he possessed a 
rough, stony, uncultivated mind, and was by no 
means, disposed to oe led captive by every foolish 
or whimsical idea ; though he might listen to reason 
and might yield to plain, common sense sugges- . 
tions, he was not disposed to yield to what weaker r* 
minds might term good arguments. This charac-r* 
teristic of his influenced the further experiments 
upon the cross-road ghosts. The fogs of excite-- 
ment having cleared away during a night's sleep^,^^ 
Craven's first words to John Barker and William 
Allen on the next morning were : — *' Well, do you 
think them were real ghosts ?" 
a6 



i¥ 



MART BARKER. 



^*^Ko doubt of it," said Allen, "its jist like Vre 
hearn my father tell a thousand times. Why I in 
Ireland, I can tell thee, ghosts are seen in the dusk 
of evening almost as thick as bats." 

" Yes," said Barker, " and once I was Crossing 
the great bogs of Munster in Ireland, near lake 
Killarney not far from the very head spring of the 
Lee, as I Was passing the Little Neck about day- 
light-down, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and thirty-one, when Walpole, in 
the reign of George the second, was punishing^ 
George Eobinson for separating unto his own us^ 
the money of the Char at able Coblporation, righjt 

under a • 'twas an alder I believe ; well right 

there with these very eyes, as plain, as daylight in 
the fifth month where there is not a cloud to h^ 
Been, right there I saw my own dear father, one of 
the best men in Ireland^ and a long tried member 
of the society of friends ^ I saw him riding his own 
fifle bay horso, that was coked by the animal my 
mother inherited from my uncle James. O he 
was a splendid horse ; under the saddle all Hfe, in 
the gear all gentleness ; well, my father was riding 
that horse with a large hog across before him. No 
sooner did I see him than he stopped, put his hand 
into his bosom, pulled out his heart and offered it 
to me. Horrified, I ran to him and just as I 
reached forth my hand to touch him he vanished 
away. I knew wbat it meant and hastened home, 
and when I got there, what I expected was toa 






" MARY BAKKER. 13 

true ; ray father was dead ; a large hog had killed 
him, and torn hiK heart loose from his body ; and 
now friends, I tell yon, I know my wife Mary is 
dead, an Indian has killed her, I see it, I feel it, I 
know it." 

" Ah I " exclaimed Allen, " what is to be 
will be." 

" But," said Craven, " I can't understand how 
it is after all ; suppose an Indian had killed her, 
why should her spirit come back, or if hers 
came, why did the Indian's come, unless he also 
has died?" 

" Man's wisdom," said Barker, " is as foolishness 
when such things are to be considered. But it's 
strange somehow or other, I noticed that very same 
chicken on that pole crowing yesterday, and now 
he's at it again ; I don't like it, it means something 
of no good." 

Every thing passed on after this as usual ; in a 
few days the great pile of wood was rebuilt, the 
houses were made a little stronger, and every 
Deeessary precaution that epuld be supposed of 
use, was attended to, 

On the next Sunday, the chickens perched upon 
the fences crowed all day long; after going to 
roost, they crowed with peculiar sadness, until a 
h'ght larger than a torch was seen by two of the 
families, when instantly all the crowing ceased. 
The light when first seen was about the middle of 
the river, and seemed to be fifteen or twenty feet 



14 MARY BARKER* 

high'; after remaining there a short time, it inoved 
sloWly to the bank in a wavering Hne. Two or 
three yonng men started to it J before they could 
arrive at the point the light Was crossing a creek ; 
eager to overtake, for the light moved slowly, they 
rushed through the water and continued to pursue* 
Onward they went, through bamboo briars, poison 
vines and every imaginable obstruction ; all feaf^ 
all thoughts of bear, panther or lurking Indian 
were forgotten, their excitement increased as they 
proceeded, and their hearts exulted with the deter- 
mination to see what the light was. In the course 
of a half hour, they came to a strange creek, one 
they had never seen before, though well acquainted 
in that direction. What added no little to their 
astonishment was, that the stream ran in the wrong 
direction; the creek they had crossed first, and 
with which they were well acquainted, ran to the 
left, but they now approached one that was moving 
sluggishly to the right ; they knew also that they 
could not possibly be very far from the river, and 
how the creek could be running directly from it 
they could not imagine. They wished now to stop, 
but found it impossible, a strange power drew them 
onward ; nor were they able to turn their backs 
to the light. For many hours they followed on 
through briar thickets, across creeks, and over 
worse places than they had ever seen before. At 
last the light stopped over a house which they at 
once recognized to be John Barker's. The light 



MARY BARKEE. l5 

turned to the shape of a boy and went npwards 
out of flight. Arousing Barker's family, one of 
his children was missing, it had gone to bed with 
the other one, but was now absent. 



CHAPTER II. 

The consternation and grief of Barker, and in- 
deed of the whole neighborhood, was immense, 
when it became evident that little Enoch Barker 
was gone. After careful search in all directions, 
after continuing the search for several days, and 
after trying every possible means of detecting any 
imposition, all hope was given over. The tone of 
the community changed ; the light laugh that for- 
merly rang clear upon the evening air, the rustic 
song that once made the fields resound, were 
hushed ; the shrill whistle that in days gone by 
had beguiled the slow moving hours as the plough 
boy pursued his daily task, was heard no more. 
The inhabitants had vague suspicions that in this 
wild, unexplored land, some evil spirits might 
carry off people soul, body and all together ; they 
thought it might be possible that they were tres- 
passing upon the rightful domain of the Red man ; 
that the great Spirit might avenge the people of 
his care by destroying the aggressors. While in 



li MARY BARltER. 

this doubtful condition, this suspense that kills, the 
high blazing of the great wood-pile in the dead of 
night again startled their wildest apprehensions 5 
every one kept his wife and children in some cor- 
ner. The fear of the Indians was at an end ; no 
one barred his door, none now stood with rifle in 
hand ; all looked to see the dark paw of the Indian 
god reached forth to grab a loved child ; as each 
one peered into the surrounding darkness he ex- 
pected to see the glaring eye-balls of Whor gleam- 
ing with fury, and eager for human victims. At 
this juncture loud cries and screams were heard in 
the direction of Barker's. The hair of the stoutest 
men stood upright, their flesh twitched convul- 
sively ; the women were hushed in terror, and the 
children scarcely drew breath. Every man felt 
that he ought to rush to the relief of his neighbor ; 
their blood froze at the probable fate of the Barker 
family; yet who could go? Who could leave his 
own family exposed to some dread danger, in order 
to protect another? In fact, who could muster 
courage enough to go a mile through dark woods 
on such a night ? But now a t orritic explosion at 
the great burning pile made the very earth quiver, 
and sent the burning limbs and sticks to the vault 
of heaven ; then followed such an unearthly howl- 
ing, groaning and squalling, as if all the fiends and 
elves in the universe were croaking the prelude of 
destruction. What that explosion could be no 
mortal in that community could tell ; the sound 



MARY BARKER. 17 

and the effect were like powder, but nothing short 
of a whole keg was adequate, and that quantity of 
powder was not in the settlement. All at once 
concluded that it must be the work of the Devil, 
and that the horrific noise that followed was the 
wailing of the lost. The three families — for there 
were but three besides the Barkers— started as if 
by concert all together, women, children and all. 
They all arrived near the same time, and found 
Barker find the two sisters of his wife in the house, 
but so terrified that they were well nigh crazed. 
The other two children were gone. They both 
stepped out of the house, one scream was heard, 
father and aunts dashed to the door only to see 
them borne off by a nameless monster, that seemed 
to be neither man, brute nor devil. It seemed to 
be a huge something with several human heads, in 
each of which were two eyes that glared like balls 
of fire ; it had several tails, on each of which blue 
blazes were burning; it had apparently about fifty 
long legs armed with nails like scythe blades, and 
these legs it could make longer or shorter at pleas- 
ure, so that it could stand off entirely out of sight, 
and poke in its paw at a window or down a chim- 
ney and drag out a child or even a man. Finally, 
it had large wings, and after holding up the chil- 
dren in its great scaly clutches, pushing them close 
to their parent and then pulling them back several 
times, it rose up, and, flapping its horrid wings 
with a low moaning sound, sailed off towards the 



18 MART BARKER. 

river. Barker and the two women were stupefied 
and benumbed by a strange sensation, their heads 
swam, their sight grew dim, their power of hear- 
ing was nearly destroyed, and in this state they 
were by something, they knew not what, carried 
into the house. The doors seemed to slam to, of 
their own accord, the fire went out, the gun, hang- 
ing upon the door, fired with a heavy boom, the 
dog ran and hallooed, a heavy rattling of chains 
was heard without, and a strong stench of sulphur 
became suflfocating. In a short time the neighbors 
arrived, and found the scared trio as above named ; 
they could tell the circumstances as just related, 
but they had heard no persons screaming, they 
knew not how the water-pail came to be in the fire- 
place, nor how the numerous fires about the yard 
came to be there. 

All were alarmed, every one thought that such 
things were most certainly the work of demons, 
or awful judgments sent from God as marks of his 
displeasure. The whole community, numbering 
only eighteen persons, went to Peter Craven's to 
spend the night. None, however, thought of sleep- 
ing ; sleep w^as as far from their eye-lids, as they 
were from knowing how to act in their present 
circumstances. They knew not how to act or how 
to protect themselves from a monster that seemed 
proof against all ordinary modes of protection ; 
they had reasons to expect that the winged fiend 
would drag some of them up the chimney, or per- 



MART BARKER. 19 

haps pull them through the key hole. All were 
afraid to sit next the wall, across the house or next 
the fire ; they were afraid to go to bed, and afraid 
to sit up. If the house creaked, a foot moved, or 
the fire popped, all jumped and repeated verses of 
scripture. 

Towards day Barker rose and said : "Friends, I 
was one of the first to propose coming here, I loved 
the thoughts of being far in a wild country, where 
the foolish ways of worldly-minded men would not 
disturb me. I thought the hand of our great Crea- 
tor was every where to protect, but either he has 
no power here, or I have greatly oflfended him. 
My wife is gone, my children are gone, and it 
seems probable that I must follow. I now propose 
to return to Pennsylvania, the land of my fathers; 
there I know the Lord of mercy resides. Let us 
pack up our goods, it is now the middle of Spring, 
and we can reach our native country in time to 
plant a sufficient crop." 

Barker sat down ; a deep silence prevailed for 
some time; all were thinking, but none seemed 
willing to speak. Finally, a very timid youth by 
the name of Spinks, arose and said : " Most of you 
are older than myself; I speak not to influence 
you, but I can tell you what I am. I came here 
trusting in God, and all the many-headed, burning- 
tailed, limber- clawed, bla-ck-winged devils in crea- 
tion can't scare me away. Great evil has come 
upon us, but I don't believe God's to blame ; I tell 



20 MARY BARKER. 

you, some wicked, soulless rascals are engaged in 
this work ; and if you will all stand up to me, I'll 
kill the whole pack, or if I don't, the flying fiend 
is welcome to my bones." Raising himself to the 
highest pitch, with an eye and voice that made the 
whole group quake, he exclaimed, " in the name 
of God and the Holy Prophets, I dare, threaten 
and defy Indians, ghosts, satan and all other wick- 
ed spirits of every grade and station. If every 
body else leaves this place, I never will, no never." 
This little speech had a tremendous effect, every 
one felt stronger ; the young man threw open the 
door and walked the yard, went round the house, 
came in and kept moving from point to point. 
The idea of returning to Pennsylvania was at once 
abandoned. They agreed to go early next morn- 
ing and examine Barker's premises, in order to 
determine if possible, the cause of so much dis- 
turbance. 



CHAPTER III. 

On the following mornins:, when the sun appear- 
ed over the eastern hills, and the heavy fog that 
hung over the river's channel, rolled off to the 
southeast, every thing looked so clear and bright; 



MARY BAEKEE. 2l 

the deep green foliage look ad so flourishing, and 
the birds chirped so merrily, that each one almost 
felt ashamed of his alarm on the preceding night. 
In spite of clear sun-shine, however, it was evident 
that the alarm was not fiction ; for two stont chil- 
dren were gone ; this was a real, unmistakable 
matter, and stood as a witness of contradiction to 
any conclusions of humbug. At an early hour all 
proceeded to Barker's to investigate by daylight 
the horrors of darkness. The appearance of things 
about the great wood pile, where the explosion 
was heard the night before, proved that an explo- 
sion had actually occurred ; sticks of wood were 
scattered in all directions, and the ground upon 
which the wood had lain, was swept perfectly 
clean. Nothing but powder, or some infernal 
agency equal to it, could have produced such an 
eifect. But whence the powder came, who placed 
and tired it, or for what purpose it was done, no 
person could even conjecture. 

Proceeding on to Barker's house, things seemed 
not greatly out of fix ; but minute examination 
showed a number of the most hideous tracks ever 
made by min, beast or monster. The tiacks were 
roundish, nearly a foot in dianneter, and seemed to 
be surrounded with claws. But the most remark- 
able matter was a letter, or sheet of writing 
which was lying between two small boards on the 
door-step. The writing was upon a thick, tough 
substance, unlike any thing the beholders had ever 



22 MARY BARKER. 

seen before. It purported to be a letter written 
by Mary Barker, the woman whose absence wafi 
the commencement of troubles ; the contents were 
as follows : 

" To Hannah Moflitt on Earth, the third first at- 
tendant orb of system Seraphous, no. 22384:, now 
in section Gemini, direct over Enoch's palace, 
across by Pearl gate 143. To be carried by one 
of Gabriel's attendants. 

"Dear Sister — I am safe in heaven. I am now 
sitting in my emerald colonade; on the eastern 
wing of my mansion are the plains of glory : on 
my head is a crown that would dim the little sun 
that rules your day ; I am robed in white glory, 
the texture of which I cannot describe, and I have 
just laid down a harp that is so constructed that all 
I have to do is to blow upon it, and it sings all the 
songs of heaven. We all sing the same thing ; the 
great melodium of God sets the tune, and all our 
harps instinctively follow. Before me is the throne 
reaching higher than I can see ; on my left is the 
river of life, and on;my right ia the grand museum. 
I never knew till I came here why Elijah was taken 
up alive ; the Lord has placed him in his great 
museum, and all nations flock to see a specimen ot 
man purified 'by the blood of Christ. 

But, my dear sister, I have a tale of woe to un- 
fold. I was murdered, cruelly, brutally murdered, 
and that by the last person in the world you would 



MARY BARKER. 23 

suspect. I wa9 murdered bj John Barker, my 
husband. He produced all that disturbance, and 
he is still at it ; he has murdered three of my chil- 
dren, and before long he will murder you. You 
know in my young days, I was promised to Wil- 
liam Gatlin, and that Barker continued to break it 
off and then married me himself. But before this 
took place he was also engaged to a woman in 
Pennsylvania ; on the day before he murdered me, 
Gatlin brought him a letter from this woman. 
This letter informed him that the woman was near- 
ly deranged about him ; and that she would still 
marry him, if he would have her. He immediate- 
ly laid his plans to kill his wife and children, and 
80 manage as to keep the affair in the dark ; this 
he has done, and so soon as he has killed you, he 
will go back to Pennsylvania. Barker is the mean- 
est man upon earth; he blew up the wood pile 
with a keg of powder, and if yon will look under 
the old root just below the spring, you will find the 
keg with some powder still in it. He made those 
huge tracks with a great block which he fixed for 
the purpose, and the block is now under a brush- 
heap below the house. He killed me with a large 
knife, and he has killed all the children with the 
same knife. The light which those young men 
followed, was fire that Baker carried himself, all 
of which he has done to deceive. If you will look 
under a large rock, near the river, at the mouth of 
the branch, you will find our clothes, some bloody 



24 MART BARKER. 

and some with holes stabbed through them. I 
advise you to show this to the nighbors and let 
them seize the wretch ; it is the will of heaven that 
he should be burned alive. I am only allowed to 
send this in order to spare the innocent and pun- 
ish the guilty. Act quickly. 

MARY— A SPIRIT." 

All former astonishment was nothing to what 
now seized the hearers ; every eye fell upon 
Barker, and beneath that concentrated look he 
quailed. When asked what he had to say to this, 
he merely rJdmarked that they all knew it was false, 
and demanded that they should search for the 
powder and the clothes. A few steps brought 
them to the old root, and to the utter surprise of 
all, the powder and keg were there. Barker said 
nothing, but simply mentioned that they should gb^ 
to the river and search for the clothes. Within 
fifteen minutes they were at the designated rock, 
and there were the clothes and a huge knife with 
John Baker engraved upon the handle. This was 
conclusive. Barker turned white as cloth, reeled , 
and fell. In a few minutes he recovered; then 
raising his hands and eyes to heaven, he said, 
" Great God, thou knowest I am innocent. The 
Devil has taken my wife and children, my heart is 
broken, my soul bleeds ; if it were thy will I would 
die. Oh ! God, this is a bitter cup, how can I 
bear it?" He fell back senseless and knew no 



MARY IJAilKEil. 



9r» 



more for ten days. Petor Craven carried him 
home and nursed hira during his iihiess. 

On the next day after these events, an informal 
assemblage was held to determine what disposition 
should be made of Barker. All seemed to be fulh' 
persuaded of his guilt. Xumberless circumstances 
confirmed the statements of the letter. They could 
see tliat he had not been much affected at the loss 
of his wife; he had been but little disposed to 
search eitlier for her or the children ; he had 
eeemed to express no astonishment at the liglit the 
young men saw vanish over his house. The pow- 
der, the clothes, and especially the knife, confirm- 
ed the matter beyond dispute. He was a base, 
malicious murderer ; he was certainly the blackest 
criminal in the catalogue of crime. But what 
should be done to him ; how should lie be disposed 
of; these were questions more easily asked than 
answered. They had no law, no magistrates, no 
otiicers, and no legal means of inflicting punisli- 
ment. After much consultation, it was determined 
to take him as lie then Avas, in an insane condition, 
and hang him. As none other tlian Lynch law 
could be ue-.ed, it was thongiit best to use it when 
the guilty man would know nothing of his dco^rada- 
tion. At this jnnctui'e, Spinks again rose wit'ii tlie 
same earnestness that marked his manner on the 
night above described. He spoke as follows : 
"Friends, you seem to act rashly ; it mav be be- 
n 



20 MARY liXR-KKU. 

caPiSe I am an io^norant boj, but I ti;iiik you de- 
termine without reason. There is indeed much- 
that is strange in vrhat has happened ; I am una- 
ble to nndorstand or explain it, but I have no con- 
iidenee in it. Can von believe tliat letter was sent 
from lieaven? It' yon do, I "do not. Vfe are told 
that the last revelations have been made ; why 
then should one so specitic as this be sent down? 
Or was there ever since the w^orld began, any 
writing sent iVom h.eaven ? Ko, and never will 
be. I tell 3'on ogain, some deep, iirlei-nal plot is 
at work. I charge yon not to stain yonr hands 
wnth innocent blood. I feel a deep impiession that 
T shall yet be able to expose the whole matter." 
The old men si ook ilieir heads, talked of boyish 
notions, &e., and seemed disposed to act upon tlieir 
own counsels. The speech, however, cooled their 
ardor, they agreed to let Barker alone for a time, 
and closely v/atch his movements. The two yonug 
women went to iMhou's, and as soon as Barker re- 
covered, he rctutned to his own desolate home 
and seemed content to live there. Tilings again 
progressed quietly, and affairs began to look pros- 
])erons and peaceable, when Barker liimselfwas 
missed. After vraiiing and looking for several 
daj's, all were conyinccd that lie liad returned as 
the letter ])redictcd. The young man was much 
blamed for h.is counsels, and indeed some surmised 
that he was concerned in the matter himself All 
fchunned him and hooked upon hiim with deep sus- 



MARY i3AiiK::r:. 27 

picion. To confirm tiie coiivictiou, Spinks, in about 
two weeks, disappeaietl : uoiie doubted tluit ho was 
au acc<>inp!ice of barker's, and that both l^ad re- 
turned to rciinsjivaiiia. 



CHAPTER ly. 

Wk must now clianae tliC poeiie, and narrate tlie 
fictions of other places and Mmes. \Vm. Gatiin, as 
above intimated, liad been engaged to the lady 
John Darker afterwards married ; Gatiin was sup- 
planted and that seemed to be the end of liis pre- 
tensions, ihit, in fact, it was not; deep, silent and 
eternal in Jiis hate, by a horrid <'ath, he had sworn 
tliat Barker should rue his conduct. Gatiin was a 
scholar and a man of decided talent ; and a man 
of such tiimness of purpose, that time, the destroy- 
er of all tilings mortal, seemed to have no power 
over his resolves. When Baiker migrated to Car- 
olina, Gatiin followed him ; like a fierce tiger, he 
kept his eye npon the booty. Having associated 
much with the Indians in his earlier days, he conld, 
to some extent, conver^^e with them ; roving about 
the new settlement, he at longfh met with a large 
encampment of Indians at what is yet called the 
Indian spring, near the plantation of Jee^se Bra}', 
b2 



'2-6 MA.KY BAIiKEK. 

about ono and a lialf miles above the Buiialo lord 
on Deep river. This was quite a village ; the foun- 
tain is to this day renowned for its beauty and ex- 
cellence ; the land about it is rich ; the resources 
for fishing were tlien excellent, and game of choice 
quality v/as abundant. That neighborhood, com- 
posed of Coxes, Brays, Popes, Carrells, Aliens, 
Moffitts, &C.J is now one of the wealthiest in Kan- 
dolph. 

Gatlin joined the powerful Indian tribe that then 
owned those lands; he pretended to be a deserter 
from the white man. By his skill and good con- 
duct, he soon became a favorite ; the red sojourn- 
ers of the forest loved him and made him a chief 
of one division. He told the Indians, that a white- 
man had stolen his wife and carried her off, and 
for that reason, he, Gatlin, had left his brethren 
and sworn eternal hate against them. He often 
related to them how he would like to sealp the 
white foe, and burn their dying bodies to cinders. 
He had not been in the camp more than a month,, 
before the return of a hunting party brought in- 
telligence, that a settlement of white men was 
forming a few miles up the river. Gatlin, though 
knowing it well, pretended to be much astonished 
and. expressed great anxiety to see who they were, 
and whence they come. As chief he had com- 
mand of a small band of you:!g men, and on the 
next morning he started witli these for the purpose 
of making such investigations as he chose. Hav- 



MART BARKLJ:. 



2d 



ing left hiB young men at some distance, Gatliii 
prowled about the settlement until be linally met 
one of the settlers near the great wood-pile, as de- 
tailed in chapter 1. His object was not to learn, 
for he already knew all the localities, but he wish- 
ed to make the Indians believe that he was truly 
in earnest. Returning to his comrades, he inform- 
ed them that he had discovered his wife; that the 
wretch Jo!m Barker, who had married or ran oft* 
with her, was one of the new coiners, and that 
Bince she had left him she had become the mother 
of three children. The savage young warriors 
nrged Gatlin to simply shoot Barker, and take his 
wife to the Indian camp. Gatlin waved his hand 
as a token for silence, and said, " My wrong, like 
a slow rising thunder storm, has been gathering 
strength for years, and must not be exhausted by 
one lead ball. I will torture Barker with every 
pang of human suffering, I will then commence at 
his toes and take him to pieces joint by joint, un- 
til the operation kills him, and after that I will 
burn his d — d remnants to ashes. As to that wo- 
man, I will bring her away alive, [ will treat her 
as I like, and I w ill then put her to death with my 
own hands. Those three children shall be shot to 
death with sharp arrows. I swear by this wampum 
belt, that this shall be done." 

Gatlin's object was to entice Mary Barker from 
her home ; he knew that by so doing, he could 
torture Barker and her butli much more, than by 
k3 



30 MARY BARKEE. 

offering any violence. Ilis plans had for some 
time been laid ; he intended to convince her that 
her sister whom she had left in Pennsylvania, was 
then among the Indi'ins. Being a ready scribe he 
connterfeited a letter in the iollowing words: 

''Dear sister Mary : — I am a captive. The In- 
dians have J^illod onr father and mother, and all the 
family except me. I am to be bnrnt to death to 
night nhle:-8 I am redeemed. It is an Indian law, 
if my sister lays her liand n])on my head, that I 
and my sister too are forever safe after that. Wm. 
Gadin was captured also, but has his liberty by 
giving his word not. to gi^ away ; I pray you to 
come with him to night an^i we will both return in 
the morning. Come, O ! come. Think of the 
burning stake ! Mr. Gatliu has happened to find 
out your settlement, and is wilh'ng to bring you.. 
You must not let any of your folks know it. 

Your sister, . Sarah.''^^ 

After giving liis companion some instructions-,. 
Gatlin went to Barker's spring and took his station 
by an old root. In the space of an hour Mary np- 
peared vmh the water pail. Gatlin stepped off a 
little and then advanced toward the spring in haste. 
Mrs. Barker w^as so affriglited at his nnexpzcted 
appearance, that she was al>out to retreat to the 
house, but ho called to her v»^ith a kind voice, and 
without any explanation handed her the letter. 



HART BARKER. 31 

She was completely deceived. Tears gathered in 
her eyes as she thanked GatUn for his kindness. 
Having no ground for suspicion, she indulged 
none ; she had known Gatliu from childhood, and 
had always- considered him a very genteel person. 
She inquired it her husband might not go at least 
a portion of the distance to the Indian camp; the 
vile deceiver replied that Mr. Barker must know 
nothing of her intentions. Having agreed, accord- 
ing to his suggestion, to steal out during an uproar 
which he should raise by firing the wood-pile, they 
parted, he to chuckle over the success of his vil- 
lainy, and she to spend her last happy evening of 
life. 

Under a bed in the hous«, was a loose plank, the 
existence of which was totally forgotten by all the 
family except Mrs. Barker; by this means during 
the alarm at night, she escaped without difficulty, 
as the door was nearly two feet from the ground. 
She met Gatlin but a few yards in roar of the 
house ; he advised her to change her shoes for a pair 
he had ; she did so, and he dropped one of hers 
purposely ; a little further on he dropped a hand- 
kerchief which he Lad carefully bloodied during 
the day, and in drawing the handkerchief from his 
pocket, he unintentionally dropped the letter be- 
fore mentioned. Having proceeded about a mile, 
just after crossing the river in a canoe, Gatlin re- 
marked : *' Mary, you hud better pass for my wife, 
while you are among the Indians." 

64 



k 

"^^ MARY BARKER. 

^' Why SO,'' replied Mary, in evident alarm? 
, "Because," said the fiend, ^' you can do more 
good by that means; and in fact, you can just 
change the matter for a sliort timet you know I 
wanted you once.'' . , 
|...t)eep emotion and black suspicion choked Mary 

c|v "^^^^^ ' ®^^^ ^^^n said : 
od/ -^'^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^o ^J own family." 
^/ 'You will never see them again," answered 
Gatlin. 



UHiJ:' 



CHAPTER Y. 

About the year 1710, the Tuscarora Indians be- 
came displeased with the settlers in ISTorth Caro- 
lina, and laid a deep plot to murder the whole 
population in one night. The better to eiFect their 
measures, they pretended great intimacy and 
friendship, visited the whites more frequently 
than usual, and used all ordinary Indian methods 
of showing attachment. The fatal day arrived 
that was to be the last to many men, women and 
children ; nature seeme(i" dressed in her most love- 
ly attire, and held out to her creature man every 
prospect of peace, happiness and plenty. In the 
afternoon, twelve hundred Indian warriors ^e^ 



MART BARKER. 33 

lected from the wliole Tuscarora nation, armed 
with the murderous tomahawk and ponderous 
war-club, but without the usual war paint, moved 
towards the unsuspecting whites. They marched 
silently on, not intending to give any alarm, 
and dispersed themselves over the entire colony: 
about dusk, in a very friendly manner, they en- 
tered the dwellings of the whites, and asked for 
something to eat. Food was placed before them, 
but they could not be pleased ; they faulted their 
entertainers and seemed to be inclined to be un- 
civil. In a short time the far-sounding, deep-toned, 
ominous war-whoop rang from hill to dale; the 
whites sprang to arms and resistance, but it was 
too late. The whole country was illumined by 
burning houses; the yell of furious eavages wao 
terrific beyond description; the startling shrieks 
of innocent victims in the agonies of death, were 
guffici^nt to have arrestetl tt.e liowlings of the bot- 
tomless pit. Fatk-ers were eut down Aod scaiped, 
mothers were slain begging for mercy, and chil- 
dren were thrown into the hi izing remnants of 
their homes. But few escaped that dreadful night, 
especially in that part of the colony nearest the 
Indian eiicampmeut, A rendezvous however was 
effected, and a check put to the massacre ; a mes- 
senger was despatched to South Carolina, and in a 
very short time a sufficient force arrived to repel 
;the invaders. In the midst of the carnage an In- 
4i^^ leveled his tomahawk at ^n old ladjr who 
b5 



34 MAKY BABKEB. 

attempted to screen or hide two small children 
under her apron ; as the weapon whirled through 
the air a boy about ten years of age leaped before 
it, hit it with a stick and turned it aside ; the exas- 
perated Indian raised his war-club to crush the boy 
to the earth, but with great skill the little hero 
parried this also. The Indian, struck with the 
boy's magnanimity, laid his hand upon his head 
and promised to spare him and those whom he had 
protected, upon condition that he — the boy — would 
go and live with. the Indians. The little fellow ac- 
cepted the offer, and after attending his grand- 
mother and the children to a place of safety, set 
out to his new home. The chief named the boy 
Brave, which continued to be his name as long as 
he lived. The tribe by which Brave was adopted 
lived in Chatham county, and had their encamp- 
ment on Hickory mountain. There were at this 
time few whites in all this part of the State ; Brave 
consequently saw no more of the pale faces until 
he was fifteen years of age ; at that age he went 
with the calamut of peace to the neighborhood 
where he was raised. He desired to see his rela- 
tions, especially his grandmother; he did not go 
as a white man, but as an Indian chief His robe 
was a well dressed buffalo skin ornamented with 
porcupine quills, his head dress was of war-eagle 
quills hanging down his back, his moccasins were 
of buckskin richly embroidered, and his necklace 
was an otter skin hung with eagle's talons. In his 



MARY BARKER. 35 

band he carried a long spear and a bow tipped 
with horn, and round him was girded the broad 
belt of peace. None of the settlers knew him, so 
changed was his appearance by age and still more 
by his Indian dre>s. He inquired for his grand- 
mother ; she had died more than two years before ; 
his two sisters yet lived, and were at a house a few 
miles distant. Hither he directed his way ; his 
sisters, after a moment's hesitation recognized him, 
and poured profusely upon his neck the tears of 
joy ; they had long thought him dead, when sud- 
denly he stood before them a strong, beautiful 
youth of fifteen. Scarcely had the joy of meeting 
subsided, when five huge Indians, in all the deco- 
rations of war, were seen approaching the house ; 
coming up to the door, they laid upon the sill the 
calamut and the tomahawk. Brave well knew the 
meaning of these things; walking quickly to the 
door he laid his own calamut (which is a pipe of 
peculiar fashion,) upon that of the Indians; then 
returning to his sisters, he inquired who in that 
house had slain an Indian. They protested that 
no one had, the family consisting only of them- 
selves and an elderly uncle. Brave frankly told 
them that such declarations were vain, that In- 
dians never made the proposal of peace or war 
until they were positively certain of the grounds 
upon which they acted ; that the calamut and 
tomahawk were laid at the door to signify that the 
inmates might have peace, if they would surrender 
b6 



M MARY feARttER. 

the mnrderer ; and if the surrender was tiot made 
W^r \vas thereby declared against the house; that 
the time given for decision only lasted while the 
chief smoked out the contents of his pipe. The 
elder sister, in great trepidation, confessed that 
two days before, during the absence of her uncle,'^ 
she had shot an Indian, whom she at the time 
thought trying to enter the house by stealth : she 
added that she had since been convinced that the 
Indian meant no harm. Brave replied that the 
Indian law was " blood for blood," that no palia- 
tinsr circumstance could avert the doom, and that 
nothing short of her death would give satisfaction. 
Looking at his sister for a moment, and exhibiting 
terrible agony in his countenance. Brave went out 
to the Indians and gave himself up as the mur- 
derer. He was caused to stand erect, his calamut 
and tomahawk by his side, and the ordinary pipe 
in his mouth : two Indians stood before him at a 
distance of ten paces, with their rifles pointed at •' 
his heart. Proudly ihe young hero stood, deter- 
mined to die as became an Indian chief; becom- 
ing impatient he waived his hand to the marks- 
men to do their duty His sister happening to 
look out and see him, with a loud shriek darted 
between him and the guns, declaring herself to be 
the murderer. The chief raised his finger, the 
gunners lowered their pieces ; he then inquired of 
Brave who he was, and who was the murderer. 
Brave replied : 



"I am a pale face by birtli, and an Ir.dlan by 
life; this girl has rashly shot one of your men, she 
is my sister, and I offer my life for hers." 

"Where your camp," replied the chief, "and 
who your people ?" 

" My camp," said Brave, " is on the mountain , 
of hickories; my people the Tuscarora. But this 
has nothing to do with " blood for blood," " let 
vengeance be paid." 

"Were you," said the chief, " in the battle of ^ 
streams?" 

" I was." 

"Did you see a pale face save the life of an .* 
Indian?" 

"I did the deed myself" 

"That Indian is the one wliom your sister lias 
killed ; as you offer * blood for blood,' and saved 
his life, you an- free." 

Brave and the Indians smoked' the pipes of 
peace; and during their conversation, the clifer 
informed Brave that his (Brave's) tribe had b(night 
a captive white girl, and that the girl had affirmed 
that she had a brother living with the Indians. 

Brave having arranged all matters, hastened 
home to investigate" the report about the white 
captive ; he imagined there must be some mistake, 
but still he was certain the report must be true. . 
Arriving at the camp of his tribe, he found k' 
beautiful young lady who said her name was Gatlin, 
and that she had been carried by a party of Indians' 



3S MABY BARKER. 

from Pennsylvania. Brave knew that a white man 
by thd name of Gatliu was in the tribe at the 
great Indian Springs near Deep River ; filled 
with compassion for the disconsolate condition of 
the young lady, Brave l-esolved to visit the Spring 
camp^ and inform Gatlin that his sister was at 
Hickory mountain. Early in the morning he set 
out, and arrived at the Springs in the afternoon. 
He was received with great courtesy by the old 
chief Ilidavj and presented with pipes and food. 
Brave was astonished at the extent of the village. 
The great Springs were in a deep, broad valley 
that terminated in Millstone creek ; on each slope 
of this valley were innumerable tents arranged in 
regular order ; on a steep bluff in the immediate 
vicinity of the fountam, stood the grand tent of 
the chief To the east opened an immense plain 
variegated with small rolling hills upon which a 
vast number of ponies were feeding. While Brave 
was admiring this magnificent village, his atten- 
tion was arrested by a sweet strain of rude music, 
and looking towards the creek, he saw a company 
of Indian damsels advancing and singing the un- 
noted carols of the forest. In their midst he de- 
scribed one of singular beauty ; she proved to be 
the chief's daughter. Her beautiful figure, full 
smooth forehead, long, black hair adorned w^ith 
feathers, her sparkling eyes shaded by a watching 
brow, and her deep orange complexion, all com- 
bined in singular harmony to finish one of nature's 



MARY BARKER. 39 

loveliest pictures. By her acquaintance with 
Gatlin, she had learned a smarter of the English 
language, and was consequently able to impart 
some information. She told Brave that Gatlin was 
not good ; that he at first had asked her to marry 
him, a!id afterwards had confessed that he had a 
wife who ran off with a man called Barker ; that 
a few da3's ago he had discovered that she was 
living but a few miles from the camp, and that 
with a few warriors he was then gone to take her 
away from Barker ; that he would be back in a 
few hours with her. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Mary Barker was not only virtuous and sensible, 
but she was a woman of the most determmed cour- 
age, and at the same time of the greatest prudence : 
she was a pure Quaker, a real Christian and a de- 
voted wife. No combination of dithculties could 
unnerve her energy ; no chicanery could throw 
her off her guard ; no wary foe could deceive her 
by false alarms. When Gatlin, as detailed in chap- 
ter fourth, told her she would never see her family 
again, she saw at a flash the whole maneuvre. 
Her first thought was to refuse to advance further, 



,40 MARY BAKKEB. 

■*• 

and to reproach the wretch for his villainy ; pru- 
dence whispered that such a com se would be foll}^ 
that her safer way would be to admit as far as 
honor would allow. She consequently made no 
reply, but moved onward with as firm a step as 
possible. After moving on at a brisk walk tor near 
an hour, Gatlin motioned to the Indians to go on, 
and stepping before Mary, said " HopP 

" Tell me now whether you are willing to pass as 
ray wife in all respects; or would you rather suffer 
my pleasure first and then try the tortures of an 
Indian victim ? I will give you five minutes to 
think ; and I warn you neither let backwardness 
nor presumption shape your answer ; your life de- 
pends upon the resolve of this moment." 

" I want no time to consider," replied Mary, " I 
am with an old acquaintance, an honest man, one 
whom my father has befriended, one who once 
respected me, and one in whom I had all confi- 
dence. I know thou art in one of thy old playful 
moods, and not at all in earnest." 

"You play the game well," returned Gatlin, 
" but you cannot get me on that hook. Those ten- 
der cords upon which you think to play, have long 
since been destroyed by the monster revenge. 
No motive can or will influence me but my own 
will. I once asked you to have mercy upon a de- 
voted lover ; you turned a deaf ear ; 3^ou are now 
in my power, and I shall yield no entreaties." 

" But I rely upon thy honor as a man, and ■ ^ '^ 



MAEY BAEKEK. 41 

*' Sing me no such Psalms ; take your choice 
quicklj." 

*' But I came at tlie call of my sister, wait at 
least till I see her safe." 

" Your sister the d ; she is not within fi?e 

hundred miles of this country. That letter was 
written by my own hand. I say again choose 
quickly." 

"But would thee deceive an honest " 

^ "Stop your suasions, and choose life or death, 
1 say." 

'^Priend Gatlin, I am in thy power, for I per- 
ceive I have no friend near except my Father in 
heaven. If thee is disposed to harm me, and break 
the bruised reed, I am unable to prevent it ; but if, 
as thee says, I have a choice, I make free to tell 
thee that I will never pass as thy wife while life 
lasts. I have nothing against thee nor any one 
else, but I am not thy wife, nor will I say that I 
am. Thou may burn me, torture me, kill me with 
all thy malignant cruelty ; I have no fear of these 
things, and only now ask thee to remain true to 
thy promise, that I may have my choice." 

Gatlin had not expected this firmness; therefore 
murmuring out something indistinctly, he bid her 
follow him, and led the way rapidly towards the 
(^amp. Mary was conducted to a large, well furn- 
ished tent or wigwam ; in it she found som-e im- 
plements of civilized life, and some things that 
(leeply touclied \\^r heart with painful recollections 



4^ MART BABKEK. 

of home. Gatlin bid her be seated on a finely or- 
namented wicker chair, offered her water from a 
curiously carved goblet, and proffered her the per- 
fumed calumet. In a few minutes two Indian dam- 
sels, with the royal feather in their long flowing 
hair, and beautiful scarfs pendent from their shoul- 
ders, entered, bearing the great Indian waiter, in 
wdiich were the well cooked products ot'earth, forest 
and stream. They seated themselves in front of 
Mary, holding the waiter in their laps ; they tried 
every imaginable means to induce he£.to eat, but in 
vain. Gatlin approached and prefaced his request 
by saying " My Dear." Mary suffered him to pro- 
ceed no further; it was simply the eyes of a mild, 
amiable woman that silenced him ; but from those 
eyes darted rebuke and power before which a reck- 
less villain quailed. The warriors in front of the 
wigwam stepped suddenly aside, and a tall young 
chief entered carrying in one hand a huge toma- 
hawk, in the other a long staff, upon which was a 
tuft of feathers ; having spoken a few words to 
Gatlin, both retired, leaving Mary and the young 
squaws in the tent, and several warriors in front 
and around. From the deep roaring of something 
like a great fire, the hum of voices, the heavy tramp 
of men, the stealthy word of command that imme- 
diately followed the departure of Gatlin and the 
chief, Mary became sensible that something un- 
usual was at hand. In al)f>iu. fifteen minutes a 
richly dressed young squaw entered the wigwam, 



MARY BARKEB. 4:9 

and, to Mary's great surprise, spoke "^ery good 
English. Without hesitation she informed Mary 
that Gatlin had entered the death belt against her 
in the council of chiefs ; that they were kindling 
tho fire, and that in a short time she must die. Mary 
with great composure motioned her to a seat, and 
then told her that she was not Gatlin's -wife and 
that her own husband and children were not far 
away. She told the damsel all the circumstances, 
and asked her to intercede with the chief, that the 
white settlers might be sent for. The conversation 
lasted so long that Gallin became impatient, and 
entered the tent in a rage \ aa he approached 
Mar3% the Indian girl stepped before him and drew 
her linger across her forehead. He stopped, turn- 
ed white as cloth, motioned the damsel aside, and 
was about to accompany his command with force : 
Yelna — for tliat was the girl's name — drew from 
her bosom a whistle, and put it to her mouth as if 
to sound an alaini. 



CHAPTER VII. 

AVe left Mary Barker in the wigwam with Gat- 
lin and Velna. Jn^t as the damsel was about to 
give the alarm to repel the insolence of Gatlin, 



^i MARY BAEKEK. 

Mary learned the meaningofthe uproar that reign- 
ed without ; for the far-sonnding warwhoop of the 
red man rang over hill and dale. Gatliii darted 
from the tent, and Yelna motioning Mary to a 
place of concealment behind a couch of skins, fol- 
lowed him. A hostile tribe from the west side of 
the pilot mountain, had approached so near, be- 
fore the sentinel of the Springs had perceived 
them, that tlie old chief had barely time to call his 
warriors to ranks before the charo-e was made. 
The onset was like the bursting of a volcano ; the 
discharge of rifles, of which most ot the Indians at 
that time had a small supply ; the tvfang of the 
deadly bow, tlie whiz of the death-dealing toma- 
hawk, and the incessant yell of the attacking par- 
ty, were truly terrific. Mary could perceive that 
the spring party was driven back beyond the great 
tent; the bright flaming of a wigwam showed 
:many warriors lifeless upon the ground ; every mo- 
inent «he expected the one in which she v/as con- 
sccaled would be fired. The advancing foe was at 
the very entrance, when opening the back part }n 
order to fly, she discovered a white man, unknown 
to her ^nd of powerful form, advance with a chosen 
band, and with ten fold fury tlie combatants fought 
and fell on all sides. Soon the whole spring tribe 
rallied and advanced to sustain .the daring white. 
The assaulting tribe were in turn driven back, and 
as the sounds of strife became more and more dis- 
tant, an aged white man, his snowy lacks resting 



Maky barker. .4:5 

tipon his shoulders, and his beard equal to that of 
Abraham's, entered the wigwam from the rear. 
Mary was about to speak, but instantly pressing 
his finger npon his lip as a token of silence, and 
bending till his beard rested upon her head, he 
said in a low voice, *' My daughter, fear not, move 
not, speak ni)t, but folluw the one that presents 
thee this toker," holding out at the same time a 
curiously formed stall. He quickly departed, leav- 
ing Mary in a situation compounded of firmness, 
fear, and hope. In less than an hour, she heard 
the sounds of victory; the • warriors returned in 
great joy ; a grand can;p fire was kindled around 
which the Indians collected to count their scalps 
and pass sentence upon the only cap'ive they had 
been able to take. lie was a large handsome war- 
rior, in the full dress of a chief, and bore himself 
cs proudly as he would have done in the midst of 
his own tribe. His condemnation was speedily 
passed, and with the pipe in his mouth, he seated 
himself npon the j)ile of brushwood, and calmly 
awaited his fate. In the meantime Brave, for he 
was the valiant white champion, was pleading with 
the council ; his pleading, however, seemed to be 
in vain, for a torch bearer drew near to fire the 
pile. Brave instantly seated, himself upon the 
wood be«ide the condemned, and said in a clear 
and strong voice : 

"I call upon the great Spii-it of the red man t(j 
bear witness, that the law of war has been violated. 



46 MARY BARKER. 

When I was about to die in the place of my sister, 
this chief saved my life because I had done one of 
his people a kindness. I have to night conquered 
this same chief in fair fight ; 1 spared him, because 
he spared me. Brave will never be guilty of in- 
gratitude; no, never; if this warrior dies, he will 
die with him ; we have been fair foes ; nov/ we are 
firm friends ; we will burn together. But proud 
chief of the Springs, remember, that when you 
fled an hour ago, I met, and stopped the raging 
foe ; I now die in the bond of friendship ; bring 
on thefirey 

The fireman stepped forward to perform his 
duty; but the dark maiden, Yelna, intercepted 
him and forbade his farther progress ; she beck- 
oned the old chief to her, and falling upon her 
knees, implored him to spare both the chief and 
Brave. For some time he seemed unrelenting, 
but finally granted the boon. At this juncture, 
Gatlin came forth in a frenzy of passion, and de- 
manded that the decree of the council should be 
obeyed ; the stern warriors murmured their assent, 
and soon a menacing shout invoked immediate 
vengeance. As they were again applying the 
cords to the captives, Velna, who had retired to 
her wigwam rushed into the throng, and drawing 
from her girdle a well polished steel dagger, de- 
clared she would defend Brave and tlie chief with 
her life, and if they prevailed by force, she would 
end her life with her own poniard. She demanded 



tliat Gatlin sbonld come forth into her presence ; 
liaving come, she ordered liim to l>e seated. With 
tlie dignity of a queen and a bearing seen only in 
the daughters of the forest, she spake as follows : 

" Fox in council, wolf in peace, and dog in war ! 
why have yon dared to plead against my request ? 
Your htnds are stained with blood and your lieart 
is filled with poison ; too mean to live with the 
meanest of white men, too cowardly to meet a foe 
in fair combat, and too selfish to feel for others, 
you have come among the red men, to stab in the 
dark, to waylay your enemies, betray your friends, 
and to defile the daughters of Tuscarora. The 
daughter of a chief needs no defence hut lier fa- 
ther, when her own person is assailed ; the dam- 
sels of Deep Spring practice neither war nor the 
chase; and if yon are a warrior good and true, 
the Great Spirit would be angry if I should speak 
against you. But you are not a warrior, the Great 
Spirit tells me so; I feel power in my heart; 
though but a weak maiden, I feel myself like a 
great mountain rock defying the roaring storm. 
I stand here in defense of two noble warriors, and 
before the bright fire burns reund them, my arm 
shall fall pnd my heart shall be still ; if they this 
day fly from tlie burning stake to the tall groves 
and broad streams of the good, I shall go with 
them. Remember forever, that Yelna of Deep 
Spring lives for the good and dies for the inno- 
cent." When she ceased, a loud yell of assent 



4:S MARY BAKKIOR. 

rang over the hills, and with Bvawe, the chief and 
her father, she returned to tlie tent. 

Mary Barker, from her wigwam, watched these 
proceedings with an intensity ot* feeling indescri- 
bable; but when she saw the noble Yelna prevail, 
a gleam of hope illumined her own breast. She 
could but think the hasty visit of the old man 
betokened some good ; Velna was certainly her 
friend, and Gatlin, her direst foe, was publicly 
thwarted. All w^as now still in the camp, but 
Mary was unable to sleep; she feared nothing so 
much as the appearance of Gatlin. Silently and 
softly a young Indian chief entered the wigwam, 
and held towards Mary a staff, wdiich she at once 
recognized as the ])ledge ot the old man. Mary 
hesitated not ; she arose and followed her guide. 
Tonlin, for that was his name, placed his linger 
upon his mouth and pointed to sometliing a little 
off, which Mary perceived to bo a sentineh He 
then drew from his blanket the robe, sandals and 
head dress of Yelna, and by signs requested Mary 
to put them on.-^ She did as intimated. Tonlin 
held out his arm that she should lean upon it. Thus 
going forth as the son and daughter of the old 
chief, they approached the sentinel, who let them 
pass without a challenge. 

Hastening off in a nortliwest direction, and 
crossing the creek on a trail-log, Tonlin assisted 
Mary with all the minute attention and delicacy of 
a well bred geLtlcman Tliey had proceeded about 



«'. MARY BARKF.K. 49 

a mile, ^vhcii^^uarj porccive;] a niiiti shmcliiig at a 
little distiiTicc i'mm the pnth along wlvich they were 
moving'; :i nearer approach showed tlio stranger 
to be a white man, and apparently the man was 
Gatlin. Mar3^'s last ray of Iiope fled; her bright 
anticipatinns were doiidcd over; she doubted not 
that the Indian who was condnctii'g. her was an 
accomplice of her enemy, and that a dark purpose 
was in contemplation. She tlionght of home, of 
a hind h.n<:band and of her own dear children ; she 
had nearly fillcn with a desponciing heart, when 
Tonlin, leaving her side for a moment, approached 
the stranger, and speaking in a low voice a few 
words, lie returned, and supporting Mary with 
much care, pursued the silent journey. Gaining 
the high ridge that stands as a barrier between the 
river and creek, the view was magnificent. A 
long plopirir ^""dlin'd extended ti^wards the river, 
the dec. iied showed itself as far to 

the iioriliwe-t an! southwest i-s the eye could 
reach ; opposite and tar off, some bold hills gave a 
graceful outline to ilie d'st.-.nt view. The deep 
roaring of the river as it ^^pcd on v/ard ovei' light 
cascades, the low snappibh howl of the wolf, an oc- 
casional scream of the panther, and the ominous 
hoot of the owl, all conspired in connexion with 
recent oc,carrcnce3, to impress Mary with sensa- 
tions of approaching danger. But when was an 
innocent wr ':nown to despair? The 

modest, hariiiu-- n; ;-:i may pt--^^-^ rt the rust- 





qO MARY BARKER. ., 

ling of a leaf, but let real clanger arise, and lici' 
spirit is the last to quake. As Mar)^ lifted her eyes 
from the impressively grand bnt threatening world 
below to the silent moon, as she through the pure 
blue vault of heaven sailed amid the twinkling 
stars, her courage revived, and she moved on with 
a firmer step. They had not advanced far into the 
lowlands before her Indian guide appeared ap- 
prehensive of danger ; he moved stealthily along 
with great caution ; and motioned Mary to walk 
close behind him : gaining the shadow of a large 
tree, Tonlin exchanged robe and head dress with 
her, so that she appeared to be the Indian and he 
the lady. She could by no means divine the ob- 
ject of this maneuvre, yet she faltered not ; though 
some danger evidently threatened, onward went 
this brave woman, her guide following close m the 
rear. They had not advanced more than a few 
hundred yards, ere a keen shrill whistle sounded 
behind them ; Tonlin sprang forward, beckoned 
lier to stop, and before he could unsling his toma- 
hawk and raise his rifle, two powerful Indians 
sprang upon hini, and a powerful voice, in good . 
English, cried : '' Mary, run backwards for your 
life !" 

But before she could even start, a tall form swepfe 
by her, and joining in the tremendous struggle; 
which Tonlin still maintained, soon overpowered 
and slew the two Indians. The unknown cham- 
pion then said to Mary, "Sit still, good mother^ 



M.iKY BARKER. 51 

till we return." He and Tonlin then took np the 
lifeless forms of their foes, and departed in the 
direction of the river. Mrs. Barker, thus left alone, 
she knew not Avhere and by whom surrounded, re- 
mained, in silence ; she knew not wdiether the 
conqnerors were friends or enemies; she knew not 
but that eternal dishonor or instant death awaited 
her; bnt with calm confidence she resigned her 
safety to " Him who is able to save to the utter- 
most." Soon Tonlin returned unattended by his 
comrade, and exchanging dress with her again, 
conducted her towards the river. They soon ar- 
rived at the river, at a point where the stream 
inaking a bold sweep westward, forms a large 
bend ; they stood for a moment upon a bold pro- 
montory of rock that projecting far into the river, 
perhaps originally caused the curve ; then descend- 
ing by a pathway on the south side of the ledge, 
they walked round its base upon huge fragments 
of stone untirthey arrived at what seemed to be 
the mouth of a cave; advancing in total darkness 
they gro{)ed along until Tonlin tapped something 
sounding like a door. Yery soon the rude door 
opened, and v/hat was Mary's surprise to see with- 
in a considerable room or vault illuminated by a 
bark-wick candle, and near the entrance the white- 
haired old man, who visited her in the wigwam! 
On a rough table of stone lay a Bible with two or 
three other books ; on a projecting crag hung a 
broad-brimmed Quaker hat; on the opposite side, 
c2 ■ 



52 MARY BARKEIi. ^ 

near soir.etiiing like a fii c-i>:uL-v;, vv^.:; c- \ w u ui liu cc^ 
cookiHg-utenyili? of Iiitliaii fav'^hioii. The (;]u iiiUM,. 
a band on each of then- heads, said^/' My chiMien,. 
I feared you were slain. I knew" an enemy beiset 
your ^^ay; and I sent my laithiui Suniibh to give 
yon timely notice." 

Tonlin replied in Indian, so that Mary knew not 
what he said ; but tears streamed down the old 
man's wrinkled face as he i-eplied: 

"Tonlin, thou art a good boy, but ma}' be thj 
resistance has gone too far. May an Aliwise Be- 
ing bloes thee and guide thy steps." 

Tonlin, taking the dress of his siste-r, the noble' 
Yelna, departed, and meeting with Suniish, who 
waited his return, the b<r)y was dressv'd as an In- 
dian iraiden, and the two entered the camp with- 
out suspicion. 

So soon next morning as Gatlin discovered that 
Mary Barker was gone, burning witli rage ' and 
thirsting 'for vengeance, he called a council of 
warriors; he knew not in tact what Jbecanie of liis 
Tietim, hut deterraining'^to turn her absence to bis- 
own advantage, arose and said : 

'^ Chief and warriors, you were last night at- 
tacked by the Pilot ti'ibe;. they slew your brotheT& 
and sons and they csi'ried ofi- my wife. Barker, 
my deadlj^ foe, caused this,; he is Itjagued witb 
them; he was with them tet night ; 1 saw hinir 
and should have killed him, had not a limb turned 
aside my tomahawk. Allow me then with these 



MARY BARKER. 



SH 



youno' wairiors to watcli. pursue and kill that base 
dog " Tlio war council iiuinediately gavo consent, 
for the_f were as mucli surprised as Gatlin ; they 
believed wliat he had said, and their creed was, 
" let foe kill ioe.'" 

Gatlin accordingly departed to watch round the 
plantanoiis of the white settlers; intending to 
satisfy himself whether or not Mary had returned, 
and if so, to eeize her by force. He was soon sat- 
islied that she had not returned ; he then contin- 
ued to harrass John B:irker by every possible 
means; to frighten him by stiango appearances, 
find finally to kill him and his children. He was 
near Craven and his companion at Curtis's branch 
as they returned home, and in order to frighten 
them, iittererl the cry they heard at that time ; 
one of his w^rriois ran round and hung a bush in 
the road near tlie school house, which the terriiied 
whites thought to be an Indian and Mary ; know- 
ana: they had no loaded arms after the discharge, 
GaMin and an Indian stood before them in the 
valley, v/hich confirmed t4ie ghost. 

In order to gain an .opportunity to carry oiT tl>e 
children, GiP.tlin sent an Indian with a fire brand 
on a long ])ole, thinking thereby to draw the at- 
tention of the settlers, while he should execute his 
purpose, anvl at the same time to still further im- 
prcrs tiicni in the belief of supernatural agency. 

Perceiving Ids purpose liktdy to fail, one of his 
foiiowers sioaUhily entered the house and carried 
c3 



54: MARY BARKER. 

off one cliild in its sleep. The child was carried 
to the camp, and lest it might escape also, he kept 
it in his own tent. Yelna no sooner perceived 
this than she determined to liberate the little cap- 
tive in spite of precaution : she was aware, how- 
ever, that it must be done secretly or else her 
purpose w^ould fail. Approaching it one day "when 
Gatlin with the rest v^as gone to the chase, she 
asked the little innocent if it knew where its father 
and mother were. It answered : " Bnggar car- 
ried mother away, and father's at home !" 
" Do yon want, to see them ?" asked Yelna, 
" Yes, bnt I can't," answered the chil d 
" Do you like Gatlin ?" inquired Yelna. 
"JSTo; he hurts me," replied the harmless little 
creature, the tears beginning to roll down its 
cheeks. 

Yelna wiped her own eyes, and kissing the child. 
told it she would carry it to its mother. She told 
it to keep awake that night, and she would come 
to the wigwam after a good while, and thump with 
her linger ; if Gatlin was awake, which it could 
tell by shaking him, it must neither speak nor 
move, but if he was asleep, to get up easy and 
come out without speaking 

Late at night, Yelna approached the tent in 
breathless silence and thumped with her finger ; 
then waited in an anguish of uncertainty. In a 
minute or two, the fair haired child came forth and 
stood before her : she caught it up in her arms and 



MARY BARKEK. 55 

hastening away, gave it to Brave and Tonlin who 
carried it to the old man and its mother in Aaron's 
cave. 

Gatlin did not miss the child till morning, nor 
did he then speak concerning the loss ; he suspi- 
cioned intrigue of some kind ; he believed that 
some one in camp was the agent by whom his 
designs were frnstrated ; but who that person could 
be, he could by no means divine, unless Brave was 
the one. This belief was soon lixed, and by the 
reserved, cold intercourse he maintained with the 
white warrior. Yelna readily perceived the com- 
plexion of his thoughts. Without delay, she taxed 
her ready and active mind to learn his intentions, 
in order to frustrate them ; by the agency of her 
brother, she learned from one of Gatlin's band, 
that murder was intended, and that the chase on 
the following day was the time appointed. She 
forthwith advised Brave to depart, justly conceiv- 
ing that his services could no more be available, 
as he would be too closely watched. The white 
chief obeying her admonitions, announced his in- 
tention to depart on the next day ; and in less than 
an hour, Velna learned from her faithful spy, that 
Gatlin had gone out with a chosen band, with in- 
tention to waylay and kill Brave. Velna informed 
the chief of his danger, and advised him to take a 
circuitous rout, which he did, not through fear so 
much as policy. Gatlin again frustrated, deter- 
mined to carry on his designs against the Barker 
c4 i 



56 



MARY BARKER. 



family to the uttermost ; he tasked every resource 
of vengeance. Pie accordingly made powder to 
blow up the wood pile ; he made a most terrific 
spectre of skins, which monstrous fabrication three 
Indians could carry ; he then shaped a block of 
wood and armed it with claws in order to make a 
track unlike any living creature. 

For the purpose of torcing credence to his fiend- 
ish appearances, he wrote the letter purporting 
to be from Mary in heaven. Then placing the 
powder under the wood, and having all other mat- 
ters properly arranged, he played the part spoken 
of in a former number. The children which were 
seized at the door, were carried to the camp as the 
former one, and placed in Gatlin's wigwam. These 
were taken from him and carried to Aaron's cave, 
in the same manner as the first had been. Gatlin's 
wrath was now at the highest ; he determined 
therefore to seize Barker himself, carry him to the 
camp and have him executed immediately. With 
three chosen companions, he went to John Barker's 
a little after night, and peeped through a crack to 
see with what the lonely inmate might occupy 
himself Barker at the time was reading from a 
large Bible, with a loud tone in the manner of the 
Friends ; he finished the chapter and leaning his 
head upon his hands, indulged the following solilo- 
quy : " Once around this hearthstone I was happy ; 
my Mary and my children were with me ; they 
loved me and soothed my sorrow ; they pitied my 



MARY BARKER 67 - 

distress and cared for my sufferings. The Lord ' 
hath sorely cliastened me ; he hath taken from me 
all earthly comfort; I have surely drunk the enp 
of sorrow, and mournitig shall finish my days. If 
I have knowingly injured any man, I am ready to 
restore fourfold. May the Lord's will be done." 

" Yon are a base scoundrel and liar," said Gatlin, 
rushing into the house with his comrades ; " I am 
come to drag you to justice." 

" Thee speaks harshly," returned Barker nothing 
daunted : " Surely I see W. Gatlin, an old friend 
of mine, and right glad am I to find in this forsaken 
house, one true as thee is. Thyself and these, I 
suppose thy guides, I bid welcome, and hope we 
may have mutual comfort." " You are a bigoted 
hypocrite," returned Gatlin ; you are a liar, thief 
and ranting fool ; to night you die ! seize him ! my 
friends." 

Barker waved thera off with his hands, and with 
a look such as comes only from a good man's eye, 
then meekly said : 

*' These charges I understand not ; thee knows, 
W. Gatlin, I have always been an honest man; I 
have neither touched the person nor goods of any 
man, and in the manner of my sect, T have tried 

to servo my maker." '* Your sect, the ! 

sneered Gatlin ; warriors, I say seize him." 

The rude sons of the .forest still hesitated; the 
man was so meek, so cairn and so peaceful in the 
panoply of virtue, that they refused to touch him. 
c5 



68 MARY BARKER. 

Gatlin, stamping violently on the floor, ordered 
them to cut him to pieces, and as they moved not 
at this command, he raised his own tomahawk, 
hat ere it flew to perform the bloody deed, some 
one caught his arm saying " hold, not so yet ;" and 
the noble Tonlin was in the midst. Gatlin glared 
upon him with the fury of a tiger ; and with a 
husky voice said : 

" Warrior, what do you here, why have you fol- 
lowed me, and how dare you stop my arm ?" 

By this time Tonlin stood by the side of Barker 
and boldly replied : 

"The chief's son goes where he will, and com- 
mands Gatlin at this time to do our white brother 
no hurt." .m tun v 

" Proud strippling," retorted his opponent, "you 
crow not over me; instantly leave this' place or 
you die as you deserve !" 

" I leave not," said Tonlin, " till we all go toge- 
ther, and think not to assume too much authority." 

Gatlin stepped back and whispered to his com- 
rades ; Tonlin perceived they were about to attack 
him, but before they had time to advance, he drew 
from his blanket the great war-head dress of his 
father and placed it upon his head ; before this 
well known emblem of authority, the comrades of 
Gatlin recoiled, and perceiving the odds would be 
against him, he smothered his resentment, and de- 
manded that Barker should be led before the war 
council. 



54 ART BARKER. 59 

Tonlin whispered a word to Barker, and imme- 
diately all of them started to the springs. Accord- 
ing to usage and by command of Gatlin, Barker's 
arms were bound with a bark-rope, passing from 
one elbow to the other. The river was to be crossed 
in a canoe at a point where the water was very 
deep ; as they were stepping into the unsteady 
trotigli, for Indian canoes wero hollowed trees, 
Tonlin, who warily watched every motion, saw 
Gatlin and his comrades unsiing their arms and 
unite their blankets. He was aware that this ma- 
neuvre boded some evil, but ihe knew not what ; 
he therefore seated himself by the side of Barker, 
at the same time slipping his hunting knife from 
his belt ; he held it in his right hand. About the 
middle of the stream, the steersman dropped from 
the gtern of the canoe into the wate.r, then seizing 
the side as if endeavoring to climb in, he quickly 
overset it. Tonlin at once saw that the intention 
was to drown himself and Barker ; as they struck 
the water, by a skilful thrust with his knife, he cut 
the chord that bound Barker's arms, and both, be- 
ing good swimmers, reached the bank before either 
Gatlin or his crew could overtake them. When 
the wretch came to land he apologised with appa- 
rent sincerity for the accident, and threatened the 
steersman with punishment ; Tonlin affected to 
believe it an accident and accepted the apology. 

So soon as they reached the camp, a council was 
called, and as Barker was accused of the greatest 
c6 



60 MARY BARKER. 

crimes, and no one plead his cause or bore testi- 
mony in his favor, he was qnickly condemned, 
GaUin demaded that he should be burned in an 
hour, and after some hesitation the council assented. 
Barker was about to speak, when Yelna came forth 
and motioned him to silence ; she was arrayed in 
the full dress of a chief's daughter, and bore in 
ber hand the wand of peace ; mildly but tirmly she 
spake : 

''Great chief, and brave warriors; the white 
man has always given bad counsel ; well you know 
that no man must die according to the law of our 
fathers, till another moon. The great spirit looks 
upon the pale face as well as the red man, and will 
not allow noble chiefs to do wrong. -Six suns must 
pass by, before our white brother dies." 

The council confessed that Yelna had spoken 
truth, and deferred the execution for six days ; 
meanwhile Tonlin pledged his wampum belt for 
the safe custody of Barker. 

We leave John Barker till the day of trial, and 
return to Aaron's cave. On the night aforesaid, 
when Tonlin had retired, the old man seated him- 
self by the side of Mary, and with much kindness 



"Friend, I pity thy distress and feel for thy sor- 
rows 'y tell me who thou art, and how thou came 
to the springs." 

"My name is Mary Barker," she replied, "the 
wife of John Barker; we came from Pennsylvania 



MARY BARKER. CI 

and settled somewhere in this country, and by de- 
ceit one W, Gatlin took me to the springs." 

"What was thy father's name?" inquired he 
with tears in his eyes, and hesitancy in his voice. 

Mary answered ; " his name was Aaron Moffitt." 

'* Didst tliou leave him alive?" inquired the 
venerable man. 

*' No," rieplied Mary, " many years ago, wicked 
men conspired against him because lie was a good 
man, and coming to our house in the night, tliey 
tore him from his bed, carried him off and killed 
him." 

The old man after a moment replied ; " Wouldst 
thou know thy father, though changed by age and 
affection ?" 

*'I should know him anywhere," replied Mary, 
" a plain scar on liis face, if nothing else would be 
proof enough." 

" I am," answered he, " Aaron Moffit thy father," 
at the same time exhibiting the scar on his face. 
We make no attempt to describe their recognition, 
or the conflicting emotions that followed, they may 
be better imagined than described. 

The next day Moffitt narrated to his daughter 
his adventures after he was dragged from his house : 
" My enemies intended to kill me not a mile from 
home, but before tliey j^roceeded that far, they 
met a band of Indians who bought me for a war 
victim at an approaching festival. For three days, 
I was compelled to walk at a rapid rate between 



62 MARY BARKER. 

two stout warriors ; on the fourth, we arrived at 
the great camp, when I was eyed with no less 
curiosity than pleasure. When the great day ar- 
rived, and all the tribes had assembled to honor 
the great spirit of the Western Avaters, according 
to usage, if any captive was in their possession, he 
must first be burned. As I was the only one, I 
was fixed to a stake and the brusb'i wood piled 
around me ; then came forw^ard the oldest chief 
to pronounce my doom." 

" White man, said he, you came in power from 
the rising sun ; you off'ered peace to our chiefs, 
.arms to our warriors and bread to our children ; 
•none of these have you done. You told us lies, 
cheated us in trade, sold us fire-water, and dug up 
the tree of peace. The thundering ot the great 
spirit, the roaring of streams, the howling storms, 
groaning trees, and rumbling earth, all call with a 
deep and revengeful wrath for your destruction." 

I knew pleading was in vain, and said nothing ; 
but as the chief turned away, he discovered this 
scar on my face, and asked how it came there. 1 
told him I received it in defending an Indian at 
Tolland, and by that means saved his life. " Ugh — 
sogger," murmured the chief, ' J know you well, 
your name is Mofia ; you saved .the life of my son." 
He then ordered ine to be unbound, and lead to 
his w^igwam, and thus you perceive, my child, this 
good deed long sinoe done, saved me from a horrid 
4eath and the bloody hand of murderers. After 



MARY BAKKER. 63 

supplying ray wants, and allowing me time to 
refresh myself, be dismissed me to seek my friends 
and home. But alas ! I knew what awaited me 
should I ever return ; I therefore traveled onward, 
1 knew not where. In the midst of my uncertain 
wanderings, I chanced upon one occasion to be 
standing near this very place when I saw two In- 
dian children, a boy and a girl, attempting to cross 
the river ; when they were near the middle of the 
stream, the little girl slipped from a rock and fell 
into a strong current; the boy fearlessly leaped 
into the foaming waters to rescue his sister, and 
after making eftbrts worthy of a man, he raised her 
head above the waters, but he was unable to ad- 
vance or even to maintain his position. At the 
minute they were both sinking, a powerful wolf 
dog that had accompanied them in their expedi- 
tion, but had loitered behind, plunged in after 
them ; before he could reach them, they had both 
sunk, but instantly diving, he brought them up 
and started to the bank. The children were too 
much exhausted to hold together, and the noble 
dog was unable to grasp them both ; the little girl 
floated away from him^varid uttering a loud howl 
of despair, he started to the bank with the boy ; 
perceiving that the dog would safely land the boy, 
and knowing that the girl would speedily drown, 
I plunired in after her at the peril of my own life. 
Though aged and feeble, I rescued her, and after 
hours of nursini^ in this very cave, I so restored 



64: MARY BARKER. 

them that they were able to go home. That boy 
was Tonhn and that gh'l was Velna. From that 
day to this, I have remained here, unknown to all, 
except these two children, Sunfish and the old 
chief; they have supplied me with food and I 
have taught them much of our language. Last 
night when Yelna heard thy report she believed 
it, and forthwith sent Tonlin to inform me of thy 
presence in the camp, requesting me to come and 
give thee such assurance, that thou mighest with- 
out fear accompany Tonlin, when he should find 
occasion to lead thee forth. But thy deliverance 
was well nigh frustrated by the attack of this pow- 
erful tribe, and had it not been for the white chief, 
Brave, our tribe would have been conqueied. He 
had already retired from the ranks when I met 
him ; he was surprised to see me, but when I told 
him that a suffering white woman was in the 
second tent, and that Gatlin had brought on this 
attack in order that the Spring tribe might be con- 
quered, so that he could then obtain Yelna, the 
chiefs daughter ; that noble chief waited 'for no 
more, but with a resolution and power never sur- 
passed by mortal man, he drove every thing before 
him. 

When I came back, I placed Sunfish out to 
watch, and in less than an hour, he returned and 
informed me, that two Indians came down to the 
river, and after remaining awhile went back. 
Having no doubt these were spies sent out by 



MART BARKER. 65 

Gatlin, for I thought he saw me when I was at the 
camp, I sent Siinlish round in another way to in- 
form Tonlin and Brave that spies were out. The 
man you saw on the hill was Brave, who came 
before yon to reconnoitre ; it was he that gave the 
whistle and cried out for you to run back." 

Mary and her Father remained for some time 
in this cave supported by Tonlin and Velna, and 
as the children were successively stolen away from 
Gatlin they were sent to their mother and grand- 
father. Yelna determined that Gatlin should be 
condemned in public council, and to effect this 
much maneuvering was necessary, as well as a 
great deal of caution. Gatlin constantly atiirmed, 
that Mary was his wife, and that Barker had now 
stolen her a second time and married her ; he also 
declared that a young chief who had been missing 
for some time, was slain by the same means. The 
time fixed upon for overwhelming Gatlin, was that 
on which Barker was to be burned ; one difficulty 
Btill remained, and that was to prove to the great 
council, that Mary was really John Barker's wife, 
and as yet they had no means to effect this. Finally 
Mary thought of young Spinks, who knew the 
whole matter, and Tonlin undertook to find him 
out and bring him to Aaron's cave. This he effect- 
ed after several days' watching, and then by a 
messenger informed Brave at Hickory mountain, 
of the time. One important point still remained 
to complete the arrangements, viz ; to obtain proof 



6Q MAKY BARKER. 

from the Pilot tribe, that Gatlin instigated that 
assault. The noble Tonlin took that mission upon 
himself, and with infinite, difficulty, succeeded in 
bringing over a chief, whose assertion could not 
be doubted. 

On the day appointed for Barker's execution 
great preparations were made, according to Indian 
custom, for display and torture ; a high stake was 
erected in the midst of the camp, and a large ring 
of brushwood so formed, that the victim might die 
by the heat rather than the flames. Barker was 
led forth in the midst of yells, hisses and every 
kind of insult, and slowly but firmly took his posi- 
tion of death ; after he was fastened, Gatlin asked 
and obtained permission to take ofi" his lower limbs 
joint by joint to the knee. 

As he stepped forth to accomplish his bloody- 
purpose, Velna appeared, unlike all other Indian 
maidens, arrayed in a most superbly ornamented 
dress, with the wedding feather in her hair; every 
one was mute with astonishment, while many look- 
ed with evident discontent. Bowing to the grand 
council, she called upon Gatlin to stop ; but deter- 
mined to execute his design he heeded her not, and 
had already taken Barker by the foot. Yelna 
drew from her robe the great eagle signal, rushing 
forward with twenty warriors at her side, (for that 
number was compelled to follow the noble virgin 
upon the appearance of that signal,) she arrested 



MART BARKER. ^ 

Gatlin's hand, and bid him stand back. Maddened 
to desperation, he was about to slay even the 
chikf's daughter, but the warriors closed aronnd 
her crying, '* wans a Yklna " — spare Yelna. She 
then appealed to the council, and moving respect- 
fnlly forward, declared herseif able to prove that 
Barker had not killed Mary and the children. Gat- 
lin defied her to do it. Raisinor her whistle, she 
gave a sharp call, and in a few minutes Mary ap- 
peared with her children. The Indians were con- 
founded, and Gatlin frothed with rage. The conn- 
cil waited till the affecting ecene of the family 
meeting had somewhat snbsidtid, and then de- 
manded what more Velna had to say. She then 
declared that Barker did not steal them away ; this 
Gatlin again defied her to prove. Yelna and Ton- 
lin affirmed the part they had acted, but Gatlin 
refused for their evidence to be taken ; another 
shrill call and Brave .with twelve powerful war- 
riors, came up and affiimed upon his wampum belt, 
that he had assisted. The old chief of the Sprmgs 
declared no warrior must dare question the word 
of Brave. Yelna then offered to prove that Mary 
was Barker's wife, and by another whistle called 
np Spinks and Aaron ]\[ofiitt, the gray old man. 
Their evidence settled that question beyond all dis- 
pute. Yelna next declared that Gatlin had insti- 
gated the assault made by the Pilot tribe to prove 
which, the chief of that tribe was produced. Ton- 



68 MARY BARKER. 

lin and Yelna related all their proceedingg, while 
the whole assembly listened in astonishment. The 
chief was greatly affected and asked his council 
how he ought to proceed ; all the warriors answer- 
ed that the wh*»le affair should be disposed of as 
Velna desired. 

" Then," said Yelna, ^' let us feast Barker and 
all his family for six suns, and afterwards send them 
home with the belt of peace, and once every moon 
I will go to see them ; Gatlin I leave to my war- 
riors ; as for Brave my father will honor him." 

Instantly the warriors bound Gatlin, and tied 
him at the stake he had prepared for Barker ; the 
chief then turning to Brave, bid him ask any favor 
and it should be granted. "I ask a great boon," 
resjDonded the white chief, "in a few words." 
'' Give me the noble Velna." The old chief seemed 
a little confused, and asked Brave for what reason, 
he demanded a chief's daughter. 

"Because," said Brave, "I am a chief; I love 
Yelna and Yelna loves me ; I saved her life on 
that night of the Pilot charge, and I absisted her 
in saving a good family." " The great Spirit wills 
Brave to be my son," responded the chief, and 
joined their hands. 

When the week of feasting was over, the Barker 
family, Spinks, and the venerable Aaron MofUtt, 
were escorted to the white settlement, and a treaty 
made which was never broken. Once per month. 



MARY BARKER. 



69 



liraye and Yelna visited Barker, nor was this 
Irieiidly interrourse ever bn^ken off while the par- 
ties lived. Many years after a son of Brave re- 
turned from the far west to see the descendants of 
his father's friends, and a worthy son was he of his 
noMe siro. 



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